Report: PH sees rise finance app installations, demand up by 68%

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A new report from AppsFlyer has released its 2021 edition of the “State of Finance App Marketing” report and found that the Philippines experienced a strong 106% rebound in user acquisition spend following a slight dip during lockdowns.

The increased marketing spend in turn drove non-organic installs (NOI) from just 9.6% to 20.2% (110% increase) — the second largest surge in Southeast Asia (SEA).

The Philippines also ranks among the top 15 global markets by number of finance app installs, coming in at sixth place.

The report tracked 2.7 billion app installs in Asia-Pacific (APAC) between Q1 2019 and Q1 2021, of 4.7 billion app installs globally. The report also examined 600 million non-organic installs and 1,230 apps across Southeast Asian markets including Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Finance apps in the report have also been separated into different categories, such as Digital Banks, Traditional Banks, Financial Services, Loans, and Investments.

In SEA, marketing spend to acquire new users is typically directly proportional to demand. As such, with overall demand for fintech apps increasing 68% between Q1 2020 to Q1 2021, marketers also increased spend to keep pace.

Owing to strong user demand, marketers did not need to spend as much to drive installs — a 30% increase in ad spend saw NOI shoot up by 55% during the same period.

Marketers in the Philippines were also more cautious, and only chose to increase their re-marketing and user acquisition efforts post-lockdown, starting with an increase of 6% (Q2 2020 to Q3 2020) before ramping up spend by a whopping 85% (Q3 2020 to Q1 2021).

Overall, marketers in Southeast Asia spent a total of $244 million investing in fintech apps to acquire new users in 2020, which accounts for 8% of global spend.

Ronen Mense, managing director and president for APAC at AppsFlyer, said: “2020 was a game changer year, impacting how businesses and consumers interact and operate. The fintech sector has radically adapted to the changing environment and accelerated digital transformation, especially in developing markets where many are unbanked or underbanked. As more users shifted to their mobile devices, Financial Institutions followed suit, enabling consumers to function through their devices. Marketers should focus on meeting this increase in demand through remarketing and user acquisition campaigns to be successful amongst competitors.”

In the Philippines, digital banking dominates 69% of all finance app installs, showing the high adoption rate that Filipinos have when it comes to fintech products.

The report also highlighted that the pandemic affected consumers’ financial behavior overall, with the Philippines seeing a 20% drop in the number of lending apps between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021. This in turn led to a decline in the number of Loan app installs, which currently makes up 22% of total installs in the country.

When it comes to fraud, rates in Southeast Asia are typically high, although this has improved over the past few years due to enhanced anti-fraud solutions; fraud declined by 20% between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021.

Among the most popular fintech apps that Filipinos use, AppsFlyer’s report showed Loan app fraud rates have declined by 33%. However, marketers in the Philippines should remain vigilant, as fraud associated with the most popular category — Digital Banking apps — rose 16% in SEA.

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